Dr. Thomas Winter


Thomas Winter is a lawyer at the Federal Court of Justice. He also acts as an arbitrator and an expert witness. Whenever you need to assert your rights, Winter is your voice.

Your rights can vanish into nothing if not guarded carefully.

Personal Background

Thomas Winter studied law in Saarbrücken, Nantes (France) and Freiburg. During his legal clerkship, he was a research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg.

After completing his doctorate in medical malpractice law, Winter first worked for the Boston Consulting Group and then for the international law firm Haarmann Hemmelrath. From 2003, he worked as a research assistant to Prof. Dr. Krämer and as an independent lawyer in a litigation boutique.

In November 2013, Winter was admitted to the bar of the Federal Court of Justice, where he practiced for three years as a partner of the law firm Krämer Winter.

At the start of 2017, Winter founded the law firm Rohnke Winter together with Christian Rohnke. Since 1 January 2024, he and his team have been working independently under the name “WINTER Rechtsanwalt at the Federal Court of Justice”.

Winter is on the advisory board of the Munich Center for Dispute Resolution and one of the four general editors of the soon to be published Beck Online Großkommentar zum Zivilprozessrecht (Online Commentary on German Civil Procedural Law).


Since his admission to the bar of the Federal Court of Justice, Thomas Winter has earned himself a reputation as one of its leading practitioners. According to JUVE, Rohnke Winter was by far the most frequently recommended BGH law firm during its existence from 2017 to 2023. In 2021 and 2023, Wirtschaftswoche recognized Winter as a “TOP lawyer” for arbitration proceedings.

„Dr. Thomas Winter possesses a unique ability to comprehend complex contexts, crafting arguments and solutions derived from that understanding like no other."
(Juve-Handbuch 2023/2024)
„Eloquent, intelligent, and entirely unpretentious, he collaborates with clients to align the drafting of written submissions“
(Juve-Handbuch 2022/2023)
„He advocates creatively, strategically, and always in clear language“
(Juve-Handbuch 2021/2022)
„Masters complex legal matters quickly and with great efficiency.“
(Juve-Handbuch 2020/2021)
„Excellent jurist, outstanding written submissions“
(Juve-Handbuch 2019/2020)
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Thomas Winter has been admitted to the bar of the Federal Court of Justice for over a decade. During this time, his clients have included both national and international companies, as well as a large number of state institutions.

Winter has provided an insight into his work in a podcast he created together with the “Justice Reporters”, which can be found here.

Of course, the main evidence of his experience is the collection of cases in which he has successfully represented his clients over the past years. These cases cover a broad range of issues, arising in almost every area of civil and commercial law. The sections below provide a short overview of a selection of current cases in which Winter has been successful for his clients:

Your Questions Answered

I represent you in all proceedings before the Federal Court of Justice, whether they are appeals against a prior decision directly or applications for leave to appeal. If you have been unsuccessful in the court below, my team and I will identify the appropriate legal remedy and assert your rights accordingly. If you are defending a previous decision in your favour, we respond to the criticisms of that decision made by the opposing party.

In addition to representing clients before the Federal Court of Justice in cases where representation by a lawyer admitted to the bar of the Court is mandatory, I also act in proceedings to which no such requirement applies. This is particularly the case in antitrust administrative proceedings or proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Additionally, I serve as an arbitrator and legal expert.

As early as possible in the proceedings. I am happy to reserve myself to represent you (or the party you are advising)  before the Federal Court of Justice long before the case reaches that stage. In complex and economically significant legal disputes, I can provide input on your case from an appellate perspective while it is still at second – or, in exceptional cases, even first – instance.

Yes and no. It is often necessary to file for the appropriate legal remedy within the time limit in order to be able to carefully study the court files and reliably assess the prospects of success thereafter.

Nonetheless, especially in challenges to a prior refusal to grant leave to appeal, and where there are large amounts in dispute, I strive to provide you with an initial assessment of the prospects of success prior to the deadline.

You can rest assured that I will explain the risks and opportunities of your case to you in private with the same precision and diligence as I will present the strongest points of your case to the court.

No, I handle all of my cases as part of a team. My legal research assistants are involved in the preparation of legal briefs. They are highly qualified lawyers with exceptional legal expertise in their respective fields. My core team is complemented by outstanding trainee lawyers, most of whom work part-time for me during their doctoral studies. Additionally, Dr. Thürk serves as my officially appointed representative in selected oral hearings before the Federal Court of Justice.

Yes. The written submissions in the third instance build upon your legal arguments presented in the first and second instances. Of course we make use of this knowledge in the third instance.

The Juve Handbook 2022/2023 states that I am “[…] completely unpretentious when coordinating draft submissions with appellate attorneys and clients.”. I encourage you to make use of this collaboration.

No, I regularly invoice my services according to the German Lawyers’ Remuneration Act (RVG). In the event of success, therefore, my clients’ fees are fully reimbursable by the opposing party.

In pilot or model cases, and in especially complex proceedings whose significance extends beyond the individual case at hand, I occasionally agree to hourly rates or a lump-sum fee.

If the opinions and the introduction to the facts and legal position stated by the Court at the start of the hearing are unfavourable to my client’s case, I strive to avert an adverse outcome by making strong and persuasive oral submissions. I consider the oral discussion of the case with the Court to be crucial, and thoroughly prepare for my hearings. While not a frequent occurrence, I have occasionally been able to prevent negative decisions or at least influence the written reasoning given by the Court to the benefit of my clients.

In civil proceedings before the Federal Court of Justice, only lawyers admitted to the bar of the Court are entitled to make oral submissions. I am therefore the one who will present your arguments to the Court. Occasionally, the presiding judge may allow colleagues who were involved in the courts below to briefly address the Court on a specific point.

Regardless of these formalities, I appreciate your presence at the oral hearing. This makes it possible for us to confer before answering any particularly difficult questions which may arise, after asking the Court for a short break if necessary.

As a member of an arbitration tribunal – whether as co-arbitrator, presiding arbitrator, or sole arbitrator – I am not a representative of the parties but I am called upon to make a legally sound and procedurally flawless decision on the case presented. As a party-appointed arbitrator, I nonetheless ensure that the arguments, especially those of the party that has appointed me, are fully heard and considered.



Baischstraße 5
76133 Karlsruhe

T: (+49) 721 484858-0
F: (+49) 721 484858-28

M: Kanzlei@winter-bgh.de

Thorough in Thought

Whether in arbitration proceedings or in third-instance litigation, fully understanding the legal issues of the specific case is always the first step. Winter not only masters the legal implications of the underlying facts, but also understands their commercial relevance and takes the potential business consequences of the dispute into account as part of his strategic considerations.

Winter focuses  on the determinative  issues in dispute, which he and his team thoroughly address using case law and legal commentary. As part of this process, he seeks and incorporates the comments, suggestions, and arguments of his clients and his colleagues who were involved in the courts below.

Precise on Paper

Whether at first instance or on appeal, – written submissions are the centerpiece of every dispute.

When challenging a decision of the lower courts, Winter and his team concisely highlight the legal and procedural errors in the challenged decisions. When defending a successful outcome below, they supply additional arguments to uphold the decision under review.

In the absence of supreme court precedent, Winter develops solutions that are well-founded and creative in equal measure. The guiding principle is always the same: no matter how complex the facts and how challenging the legal issues, the analysis and argument must be expressed in clear and simple  terms.

As an arbitrator, Winter shifts perspective. His arbitral awards are crafted not only to withstand scrutiny in the state courts,  but also to make clear to the losing party that reaching a fair and correct resolution of the dispute was his primary concern.

Convincing in Court

During direct oral exchanges with the Court and opposing counsel – whether during an oral hearing or simply a legal discussion – precise and engaging arguments are always the most convincing.

At the hearing, Winter does not simply reiterate the arguments already made in his written submissions; instead, he refines and strengthens them in response to the Court’s views. Through his advocacy, he advances his client’s case robustly, but with courtesy – as does Dr. Thurk, who regularly participates in hearings on his behalf.

When Winter sits as arbitrator, he uses the oral hearing as a forum for a constructively critical exchange with the parties and their representatives.